Jesus the Troublemaker

By , January 16, 2019

“Thus the people were divided because of Jesus.”
John 7:43 (NIV)

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For those of us who were raised as children in an evangelical Sunday School, the portraits of Jesus were consistently those of a gentle and kindly preacher. One of the songs taught me in my tender years went something like:

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon your little child; Pity my simplicity, suffer me to come to Thee.

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The Faithful Teacher

By , January 15, 2019

“You are the salt of the earth”
Matthew 5:13

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It was many years ago that a faithful Sunday School teacher had a group of young teenagers to serve every Lord’s Day. The teacher was a very gentle man who loved his Lord and took great interest in all the boys in his class.

In fact, one of the class members was his own beloved son. Another scholar was his son’s close friend. That fact worried the teacher because his son’s friend was an actively evil person and the teacher feared for the spiritual safety of his boy. Also, most of the parents in the church were concerned about the bad influence of the young fellow on the others in the church.

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A Day At A Time

By , January 14, 2019

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

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Everyone should have an aunt like my aunt Bertha. All of her nieces and nephews loved her and her husband Lorrie my mom’s older brother. I recall one day following her into another aunt’s home as we went to a birthday celebration. As we walked along I said, “Aunt Bertha how are you doing?” Her spontaneous reply was, “Gordon me and the Lord are taking things one day at a time.”

Now I should tell you a bit about Aunt Bertha’s history. First her beloved husband had died of leukemia. Before that her youngest son Walter died in a boating accident. Then her son Graham died of cancer. Finally her last son died tragically in a hunting accident. So when she said she and the Lord were taking things one day at a time it was a profound comment coming from one so wrapped up in tragedy.

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A Sermon Without Words

By , January 13, 2019

“But what does it matter? The important thing is
that in every way…Christ is preached.”
Philippians 1:18 (NIV)

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Some time ago I visited a church in southern Ontario to preach on a Sunday morning. I had preached in this church from time to time for over 35 years. Hence, I knew most of the people for decades.

One person who is faithful in attending this church has been slowly going downhill with a serious medical issue. I have watched with sadness how he gradually lost his ability to walk. Now he moves about in a wheelchair.

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False Accusations

By , January 12, 2019

“I find no crime in him…
Then he delivered him unto them to be crucified.”
John 19:6, 16.

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I recall a certain preacher being brought up before his church and accused of wrongdoing. He wanted to know what it was he had done wrong and his accusers could not or else would not specify what the alleged sins were. They just kept repeating the verdict of guilty. History is full of false accusers and the punishment of the innocent.

Occasionally those near the matter cannot see what is happening to the innocent person as readily as people farther away. In the context of our verse today we see the group who were close to Jesus were the ones who demanded his execution. Then we observe Pilate who was distanced from the situation and saw things clearly.

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